Steve Bruce faces uncertainty over his future at Aston Villa

Joao Cancelo

That could make negotiations strained, but Levy will know that Villa are not in a strong position to stick to their guns having only just staved off the immediate threat of administration by settling their bill with HMRC.

The Championship side have also confirmed there are no insolvency practitioners or administration advisors working with the club.

A statement from the club added: "Owner and chairman Dr Tony Xia would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank supporters during this hard and unsettling time and reassure them plans are now being put in place to move the club forward".

The 41-year-old Chinese businessman is also understood to have short-term cash flow problems because of strict rules about money leaving his native country.

Captain John Terry will not renew his contract after they missed out on promotion while midfielder Jack Grealish could be sold to raise cash.

Boyhood Villa fan Grealish impressed last season, despite only scoring three times, but the club failed to return to the Premier League, which has plunged them into financial uncertainty.

Aston Villa refused to sanction the purchase of suits for the squad ahead of the Championship play-off final because of the club's precarious financial position, Sky Sports News understands.

The club says there are "plans are now being put in place to move the club forward" - it's no exaggeration to say these "plans" are the key to the immediate future of Aston Villa Football Club. Any potential new owner would need in excess of £100m simply to cover the contractual commitments in place at Villa Park.

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